Dr. Thomas Samuel
Research Associate for the 2021 National Outreach Survey for Transportation
Dr. Samuel is a UAS Researcher and Research Associate for the National Outreach Survey for Transportation, under the USDOT Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award.
He is an academic with more than twenty-five years of higher-ed teaching where he not only excelled in the classroom but also inspired his peers through innovation and unrelenting pursuit of knowledge and novel skills. Wherever he worked, he was known and appreciated as the go-to tech guru with a penchant for breaking down a problem and find a fix. Currently, he is a professor and assistant dean at Austin Community College. He is passionate about data driven processes which enabled him to expand his skill sets way beyond his professional demands. He believes that it is his calling to harness his skills and expertise to make a difference, however small.
His role as Brand Administrator for Qualtrics at his institution helped him become proficient in finding innovative solutions using this platform. Thomas started using Qualtrics in 2013 when he joined a team, Biology Innovation Lab, mandated to implement a $2 million US Department of Labor grant. During the tenure of the 3-year project, he was the lead for technological solutions that ranged from eLearning authoring to Qualtrics to innovative digital interventions. Later, in 2017, he won the Digital Fellow award for digital innovations in teaching. This past year, he was part of an OER Task Force charged with increasing equity through open resources in partnership with OpenStax, one of the world leaders in the area.
Thomas is enthusiastic about exploring and adopting new skills, as demonstrated by the diversity of tools and platforms he uses at work. He is well versed in using tools such as Qualtrics, GSuite, Google Script, Data Studio, SAP Lumira, MS-Office, WordPress and Miro. Combining such diverse expertise with his interest in data analysis, he can dissect a complex problem and a find a resolution.
Thomas has a PhD in environmental toxicology from the University of Delhi, followed by post-doctoral training and research at College Station, TX. He then taught undergraduate and graduate level courses at the University of Delhi, Oman Medical College (partnering with West Virginia School of Medicine), and currently in Austin TX. Living and working in different continents, in such multicultural settings has shaped his outlook and beliefs. Thomas believes that all humans are made in the image of the almighty, that everyone should be treated with equal respect, and that everyone should have equal rights and access. Notwithstanding his recognition that we, as humans, are a long way from that cherished goal, he is resolute in his belief that the way to get there is for each one of us to contribute in our own humble ways to a global effort. Outside of work, Thomas is a compulsive reader, avid music enthusiast and soccer fan, interests that he shares with his wife and son.